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Barack Obama

No Dancing on the Grave....

Posted on 2011.05.02 at 05:05
You don't need to come to my little corner of the 'net to learn that Osama bin Laden is dead, and while I haven't joined those dancing in the streets, I don't in the least mourn his passing. He was my self-declared enemy, he wanted to kill me and my nation and everything I stand for, in the name of of a debased mockery of a beautiful faith. Good riddance.

After a Navy SEAL team attacked the mansion compound in a wealthy neighborhood just outside Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan -- whose government is shocked, shocked, they say, to find that bin Laden was living there! -- and killed him, they took custody of his body. This may seem ghoulish, but it makes perfect sense: THey took DNA, and proved his identity.

Thereafter, Osama bin Laden's body was, according to news reports, buried at sea, so as not to leave a gravesite as a rallying point for terrorists, with full respect to Islamic tradition.

This, I have a couple of problems with.

On the one hand, I think a publicly-available grave would have been handy. Keep it under constant surveillance, and ruthlessly investigate anybody who shows up to mourn. Would that require vast amounts of manpower? And the Republicans say the government can't create jobs! I'm actually pretty sure that a known rallying point for terrorists would be a good thing.

On the other, the vague reports I've seen suggest that bin Laden was given a respectful -- although no doubt perfunctory -- Islamic funeral before his body went to its anonymous, watery sepulchur. And.... Say what?!?!

No, dudes, you wrap him in a shroud woven from nasty used tampons, stitch him up inside a pigskin, and consign his body to eternity in whatever other ways are anathema to his faith.

You may accuse me of anti-Islamic bigotry for this, but nothing could be further from the truth. To so treat his body is to respect Islam. Look, I don't personally believe in Islam's view of the universe, the face of God, and the afterlife -- don't take it personally, Muslims, I don't believe in Christianity's or Judaism's or anybody else's either. (Maybe Buddhism: the recycling of souls appeals to me aestheticly, plus, it's a Green initiative!) -- but, just in case they're the ones with the right answer, should we dispose of Osama bin Laden's body in a way that eases his passage into Heaven? No! He waged war against us in the most brutal and dishonorable way possible, in the most evil way possible, using innocent civilians as murder weapons against more innocent civilians. Our retribution should have been waged not just against his body, but against his soul, and if there's a way of disposing of the former that, by his own beliefs, would consign the latter to the darkest pits of Hell, that's what we should have done.

Playing by his rules, we should have meted out to him that ultimate punishment.

On the other hand, let's note something else, unrelated to funeary disposal of sack of meat that was once Osama bin Laden.

While Barack Obama was releasing his birth certificate in a vain attempt to shut up the bigoted crazies like Donald Trump, he said that he had more important things to do. Turns out, he was doing them, huh? While he was making the Birthers his bitches, while he was standing behind a podium, doing killer comedy at the White House Correspondents Dinner, President Obama had already given the order to take out Osama bin Laden. While he wade through the silliness and idiocy of the Tea Baggers, while he played a morning round of golf, while he went about his business, with the nation all unknowing, an American military mission he had ordered was under way to end that son of a bitch!

A previous president played dress-up in a flight suit, and gave a speech on an aircraft carrier that a mission -- which is still under way, eight years later, and which in no way brought us closer to ending the threat of al Qaeda -- was accomplished. This one never gave the slightest indication that, on his direct and specific order, our single greatest enemy was being brought to his just end.

That, my friends, is a President who has taken several levels in Bad Ass!


i_m_b00 at 2011-05-02 13:15 (UTC) (Link)

Obama is a 7th jedi knight

getting everyone to focus on birther crap and in the back ground the pages he is calmly fixing the world.
maaike_fluffy at 2011-05-02 15:58 (UTC) (Link)
while I haven't joined those dancing in the streets, I don't in the least mourn his passing. He was my self-declared enemy, he wanted to kill me and my nation and everything I stand for, in the name of of a debased mockery of a beautiful faith. Good riddance.

I WORD all these words. :)
elfwhistletree at 2011-05-02 20:12 (UTC) (Link)
I think burying bin Laden's body at sea, but with an Islamic funeral, was a good call - no physical rallying site for martyrs, and no further provocation to incite more Muslims to terrorism, when perhaps they might turn to a less destructive path.

If there is an afterlife, and I know I don't know about that, it's not our responsiblity to condemn or punish people there - that's taken care of for us.

In the same way, I do not think the sins of the fathers should be visited unto the tenth generation - we should be wary of Osama's kith and kin, for practical reasons, but they should be judged on the own merits.

/woolly liberal
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-05-02 21:08 (UTC) (Link)
I'm a wooly liberal too, I really am.

But I'm not persuaded it's a bad idea for enemies who use the most monstrous of crimes to wage war on us to know that when they do, our battle is not just against their mortal lives, but their souls as well. If that gives pause, that's a good thing.

And I think that if there's a place that terrorists want to come, to pay homage to one of their own, that's a place we can watch and monitor to the profit of the health and safety of every peaceful human bing alive.
elfwhistletree at 2011-05-02 21:45 (UTC) (Link)
Fair enough - but IMHO I do not think you can deter people being terrorists by threatening their souls any more than their bodies - people who are already prepared to be suicide bombers don't think like that, as far as I can work out. Rationally they should be afraid, but that's not what drives them.

My point, if I have one, is that the way to defeat terrorism in the short term is probably with guns and security checks, but the way to defeat it in the long term is by changing people's attitudes, and making them frightened and angry doesn't achieve that. The limited peace in Northern Ireland has come about because more and more people on both sides decided they cared more about the cessation of violence than they did about "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth".

I don't know enough history or politics to justify this properly, but this is what I hope and pray for in most of the world's conflicts - that the dictators grow old and tired of ruling, and that the children of feuding races and religions find that they have more in common than their ancestors had, and that it is in their best interests to work together.

And one of the reasons that I like Barack Obama is that I think that he is bright enough, and principled enough, and rational enough, to understand this. I'm not a pacifist, and I understand the need for revenge, and if assassinating a few nutters in Libya will help the cause of peace, then I have no objection, but "the end justifies the means" only works if you have a clear road map of how these steps will help, rather than hinder, in achieving that end.
elfwhistletree at 2011-05-02 21:47 (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, I worry about this sort of thing every time I read the newspaper, and I have to fix things, at least in my head - so you get the benefit of my fretting as a rant.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-05-02 22:28 (UTC) (Link)
No, please, I don't post my thoughts here to be slurped up uncritically. I love your integrity and your willingness to disagree without being disagreeable.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2011-05-02 22:27 (UTC) (Link)
The limited peace in Northern Ireland has come about because more and more people on both sides decided they cared more about the cessation of violence than they did about "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth".

I've always strongly felt that a huge part of the reason for the level of peace in Northern Ireland had a lot to do with the act that, in the wake of 9/11, public attitudes toward any form of terrorism were so completely negative. The IRA weren't jolly, freedom fighters any more, they were just al Qaeda with a brogue.
louboutin at 2011-05-03 15:08 (UTC) (Link)
I don't know, if Osama had a grave site I think there would be a lot of pissed off people coming to spit on his grave too. And then a lot of fights. And probably blight in whatever city it happened to be closest too.

I think they did the right thing by making it a "siteless" grave.
alloy_ at 2011-05-03 07:14 (UTC) (Link)
The moral of the story is that you don't pay Poker with Barack.

ashaherazade at 2011-05-19 04:41 (UTC) (Link)
I've said for years that people who cannot see the intense emotions of this man are blind. Because he doesn't yell, shake his fist or throw things just means he behaves as an adult. I grew up with a father who had that little tightening around the eyes and the utter calmness of major facial muscles when upset that you will see with Barack. Oh the times I've quivered in my seat at the thought of that look falling on me...
And my Dad loves to play bridge not poker. Wonder if my president is the same :-D
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